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Dominica: The first female head of state nominee receives little support

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The government’s choice for the office of President of Dominica did not have the backing of the Opposition Leader, according to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who expressed his disappointment on Tuesday.

Later on Tuesday, the Parliament will convene to examine the matter of electing a successor to President Charles Savarin, whose two five-year terms in office expire on October 1 of this year.

The Dominica Constitution, according to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, calls for consultation between the Opposition Leader and the head of government when choosing a candidate. If a compromise cannot be reached, a President will be chosen 14 days after Parliament has been notified of the situation.

The government has nominated 58-year-old Sylvanie Burton, a member of the island’s indigenous population, to become the island’s 11th head of state since the attainment of political independence from Britain on November 3, 1978.

But speaking on the state-owned DBS radio, Skerrit said that he would have to inform the Speaker of the Parliament of the position adopted by the Opposition Leader, Jesma Paul Victor not to support the government nominee.

Skerrit told radio listeners that he was disappointed that there could not have been consensus on the appointment of Burton, who is from the Kaliango Territory, where the descendants of the country’s indigenous people, the Caribs, still resides.




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